American Baptist Beliefs

First Baptist Church of Bloomington is one of 5,200 congregations (with over 1.3 million members!) of American Baptist Churches USA that share – with more than 42 million Baptists around the world – a common tradition begun in the early 17th century. That tradition has emphasized:

  • The Lordship and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  • Believers’ baptism.
  • The competency of all believers to be in direct relationship with God and to interpret Scripture.
  • The importance of the local church.
  • The assurance of freedom in worship and opinion.
  • The need to be Christ’s witnesses within society.

We are committed to the Bible as the divinely-inspired word of God, to the local church, to mission, to service, and to evangelism. Read more.

The following are representative of the tradition and practice of American Baptists:

  1. American Baptists believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God that serves as the final written authority for living out the Christian faith.
  2. For American Baptists, the local church is the fundamental unit of mission in denominational life.
  3. American Baptists partake of two ordinances: believers’ baptism and The Lord’s Supper.
  4. American Baptists believe that the committed individual Christian can and should approach God directly, and that individual gifts of ministry should be shared.
  5. American Baptists take seriously the call to evangelism and missionary work.
  6. American Baptists support religious freedom and respect the expressions of faith of others.
  7. American Baptists acknowledge that God’s family extends beyond our local churches, and that God calls us to cooperative ministries.
  8. American Baptists have been called to be Christ’s witnesses for justice and wholeness within a broken society.
  9. American Baptists celebrate the racial, cultural, and theological diversity witnessed within its membership.
  10. American Baptists heed the biblical call to renewal and the need for a vital witness in a new millennium.

Click Here for further information on each of these facts.

If you would like to learn more about the American Baptist tradition – and how we live out these practices at First Baptist Church of Bloomington – please contact our Pastor at